A special, week-long event running along the streets of mid-Cheshire will thrill residents this July

Northwich has been chosen to host the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay on 17 July, as part of its tour of theCommonwealth ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July.

Batonbearers will carry the baton through the town before moving on to other parts of the North West that weekend and then across the country for the final leg of a global tour which began in October.

To celebrate the baton’s visit to the town and in a unique collaboration between the schools in the area, thousands of pupils from 42 primary and secondary schools in Northwich and Winsford will link up over five days in a way that has never happened before and on such a large scale.

Pupils from each school will take part in a Schools Baton Relay from 11-15 July. Each school will take its turn carrying thebaton on to the nearest school with the same baton being passed on from school to school on a total 47-mile-long tour around the towns.

As the baton is passed to each school, a handover ceremony will take place when the schools present their own ‘pledge’, based on the values of the Commonwealth Games, committing to further participation in competitive sport and striving to achieve net zero.

The Schools Baton Relay starts at Rosebank School in Northwich at 10am on Monday 11 July, with its pupils running 0.1 miles to pass the baton on to Barnton Community Primary School who will then take the baton onto the next school to continue its onward journey.

The relay concludes on 17 July when the final school to carry the baton, Comberbach Primary School, will carry it to theAnderton Boat Lift to greet the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Organiser Chris Story, partnership development manager of Vale Royal School Sport Partnership, said: “The partnership between schools in West Cheshire is unique and strong and I am stoked by what we have been able to organise for thisrelay with so many school pupils taking part.

“This is going to be an amazing event which we hope people can come out and enjoy and welcome the children along theroad across the week and honk their horns. Considering the last few years which we have experienced, this marks a good time to say we are back together and collaborating.

“It is incredible that the Queen’s Baton Relay is visiting Northwich. I remember the torch relays for the Olympics in 2012, when the number of people taking part was fantastic. We hope we get a lot of people to come and support and cheer on the batonbearers on 17 July.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Community spirit is strong in Northwich and Winsford and never more so than in our school communities who have collaborated wonderfully to run this event.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Northwich and, in the week beforehand, I am sure residents will come out to support the children taking part in this huge relay.”

The Mayor of Northwich, Councillor Graham Emmett, said: “I’m looking forward to the celebration and the wonderful collaboration between all the schools throughout our two towns and I’m certain everyone will be jointing in the celebration and marking it in their own way.”

Each school taking part will receive a commemorative baton to go on display in the school along with a tree to be planted in the school grounds, to help in a small way in its efforts to achieving net zero.